Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Needs Are Scientific Calculators

There's this women's shelter I drive by every time I go to Idaho Falls that has a marquis sign out in front. It always says "Needs Are..." then lists something.

This sign drives me nuts (and Justin's tired of hearing me complain about it so I'm complaining to you). I always thought this sign was educational, informing people (mainly their residents, I assumed) the difference between needs and wants. The sign would list things like clothing, toilet paper, stuff like that.

One day I was complaining to Justin because it said "Needs Are Scrapbooking Supplies." I was telling Justin that scrapbooking supplies really weren't needs. Justin explained that some of the women in the shelter have their children with them, so they would like scrapbooking supplies. We went back and forth and were both confused.

Basically, what it boiled down to was semantics. Grammar. I took the sign very literally. But actually, the sign is advertising what donations they would like to receive. It upsets me every time I see it. Instead of saying "Needs Are..." I think it should say "We Need..." "Please Donate..." or even "...Needed."

Today the sign reads "Needs Are Scientific Calculators."

As always, it bugged me. But I had an entertaining thought. Scientific calculators. I know what scientific calculators are. But isn't that a dumb term for them? Aren't all calculators scientific? What other kinds are there? Whimsical calculators? Musical calculators? Literary calculators?

That was my chuckle for the day.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Perfect Pair


I'll be the first to admit it's lame...

There are certain celebrities that I am truly a fan of...and not just their work...it's like I honestly think I'm their friend or something. 

Jennifer Aniston is one of those people. I was devastated when she hooked up with John Mayer. He's not good enough for her. Bradley Cooper dumping her for Renee Zellweger? What was up with that?

But here is a pairing I can totally get behind because I HEART both of them and think they'd be so cool together.

Here's hoping! 


Monday, August 24, 2009

Bubbly Day

Very rarely do I have any good work stories. I sit in a cubicle at a computer and write all day. While I enjoy it, others do not really enjoy hearing about it. I don't have any great stories like, say, my husband who counsels mentally ill drug addicts. 

But today...today there is something to report. 

Today, someone lined the aisle of the room in bubble wrap. And from this I've learned...

...that someone running across bubble wrap (or rolling their chair across it) sounds uncannily like applause

...that some more "important" big whig types think they are too important to walk across bubble wrap and do a funny leap/dance around the edges of the aisle into others' cubicles to avoid stepping on it

...that if you're not expecting the sound of large, air filled bubbles popping two feet behind you, it can be highly startling

Hope your day was as bubbly as mine!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Am a Writer - I Promise!

Here is one of the articles I wrote in June that has been published on Melaleuca's blog. See? I really do write for a living. Check it out!

The Crimson Stain by Lara Hays




P.S. And, yes, Sol-U-Mel really is that amazing. It's saved our bacon many a time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Anywhere But Here

There's a day dreaming game I call "Anywhere But Here" where you indulge in a little day dreaming and create a fantasy of what you'd rather be doing.

Today when I went outside to visit Joci, the weather was just so beautiful. It was so warm and sunny. I just had to have myself a little round of "Anywhere But Here."

I was wishing that I was at Blacktail Reservoir, lounging on the beach or on a nice boat. I would be with my friend Jamie who moved yesterday and who I am missing. We would be talking and chilling, reading fun books and girlie magazines.

Not very creative, but that's today's version of Anywhere But Here.

Take a minute and have your own round of Anywhere But Here. Feel free to leave your daydream in a message. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Carnival Prizes

When I picked up Joci from daycare today there were a couple of toys with her stuff. I thought they were someone else's, but no. The daycare providers told me they were the toys she won at their carnival today. I didn't ask.

But I think I will.

Seriously...how does a 4 month old win prizes at an outdoor carnival with a big jump jump and face painting?

Jocelyn won a toy alligator and a beach ball. Good job, whatever you did!


Also, we went to JCPenney's today for some portraits. The good news is there were no melt downs, no spit ups, no blow out diapers...but there were no smiles either. We did get some cute shots though and we had a coupon so it was really affordable. We'll be back in another month or so and hope for more smiles then.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend in Utah

Friday we trekked down to Salt Lake to see Julie and Aaron who had come up for a visit from Tucson. My parents also decided to join the fray and Jordan and Cindy also happened to be down for Cindy's family reunion.

Jocelyn and Audrey met for the first time. Audrey is exactly two months older than Jocelyn.



We went to the Hogle Zoo on Saturday. Stephanie was at work, so she was missing. We had Jeff and the Frederick kids, the Groffs, my parents, and us Zierkes.


In Hawaii, we bought matching muu muus for Audrey and Joci. So we had to dress them up and get some pictures. So here is their very funny photo-shoot. They really do love each other - that's our story and we're sticking to it!


Rest in Peace, John Hughes


While it is a little delayed, I just wanted to post a tribute to some of the best movies ever!

Ah, the Brat Pack. Thanks to John Hughes, the world discovered Molly Ringwald, Robert Downey, Jr., and the Cusacks. We all wanted to be as suave as Ferris Bueller and we even fantasized about building a robot boyfriend/girlfriend.

We met Macaulay Culkin and dreamed of being left Home Alone. We all experienced a family vacation like The Great Outdoors and have nostalgia for the perfect Christmas Vacation. And between movies like Sixteen Candles and Some Kind of Wonderful, we all knew that us dweeby, nerdy kids had a shot at our happy endings.

Thanks for the memories, Mr. Hughes! 

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Doctor's Visit

I made an appointment and went to see my doctor today. He told me that tonsil stones and occasional tonsilitis wasn't enough to require a tonsilectomy. Then he looked at my tonsils. He said they were very bad and that he wouldn't be surprised if I needed surgery soon. He said it wasn't a fun surgery for a 26 year old (I'm almost 28 - does that mean that since it's no fun for a 26 year old, it might actually be considered fun for me? Or maybe it's less fun for a 28 year old? At what point does it get downright nasty?). He was also concerned by the fast onset of my symptoms as I've had crypts and tonsiliths for a couple years, but only in the past month have my tonsils been raging mad and making me sick constantly. 

So, I have a prescription for antibiotics. I also have a prescription for a belly button rashy thing I've had for a couple years that I believe a dermatologist misdiagnosed. I have such weird maladies. Justin tells me that all the time. No major injuries or ailments. Just weird, rare, random maladies. 

I have gone to this doctor for...well, for over 28 years. He delivered me. I love this doctor. I am worried about what I'll do when he retires. He's smart as a whip, friendly and personal, and there's just an air of integrity in his office. Not the presumptuous yuppy specialist air. Like some doctor's offices have slate floors and 20 foot high ceilings, marble counter tops, plasma TVs, fire places, etc. This doctor's office hasn't been redecorated since the late 60s or early 70s and I find comfort in it. The colors are outdated, but nothing is worn. Integrity. Nothing is flashy. I like seeing the rows of paper files behind the reception area. I love that the exam tables are made out of dark wood paneling and olive green upholstery yet look pristine. If it ain't broke...

And he's a family doctor. Like I said, he delivered me. He saw me through all my baby stuff, childhood stuff, teenage stuff, adult stuff, female stuff...you get it. I heard a baby cry in the office today and I asked if he sees babies. Of course. He's a family doctor. He sees the entire family. I might switch and start bringing Joci here. I feel so comfortable with this office. I feel the quality behind the reliable - though untrendy - furnishings. I came from the days of a family doctor. Why now do we insist on a specialist for even basic stuff? Why do I go to an ob-gyn and a pediatrician? Maybe I'll ditch the kitchy pediatrician's office with the fancy wall murals and overdone play room and take Joci to our family doctor. He's seriously the sharpest doctor I've ever met - and he's about a third of the price. It saves on my copay and it saves the company I work for which has self-funded insurance. 

I forget that I should shop around for medical care. While we are still a capitalist society in this respect, I do have that luxury. When I was undergoing fertility stuff, I went to the nicest place in town. It was FAN-CY. And expensive. I didn't realize that until I had personality issues with my doctor and switched to a different doctor that reminded me of my family doctor. Older. Kind. Patient. Not too busy. Quality furnishings but an older office that could never be mistaken as posh or trendy. And I liked him so much more personally. And his charge was about a third less. And that made a huge difference to us because insurance doesn't pay for our fertility treatments.

So I'm thinking about switching Joci over. 

What do you do with doctors? Do you go to a specialist for everything? Do you ever get irritated by fancy, nicely decorated offices and think that you're paying for all those unnecessary extras? Do you feel comforted by a place that's more updated and posh? Would you be turned off by the dark paneled, olive green exam table? Do you do cost-comparison shopping with your healthcare? 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cryptic Tonsils

I am 99.99% sure I have cryptic tonsils. I have been putting off going to the doctor mainly because I'm a little broke when it comes to money and paid time off and I am fairly certain that I will need a tonsilectomy, which I hear takes an adult about ten days to two weeks to recover from - plus a night in the hospital. Yuck. I keep putting off going to the doctor. Sore throats and inflamed tonsils aren't that horrible, right? But they're getting worse. Today I noticed that any time they get a sudden blood supply - like when I bend down or blow my nose - I feel like the back of my throat is literally going to explode. It's a weird feeling. Not exactly painful, but it just feel bad. Like illness all inside. I think I'll call the doc tomorrow. Maybe we can try a round of antibiotics before resorting to surgery.

I used to be kinda proud that I still have my tonsils. Not many adults do. Now I wish they'd been taken out when I was a kid and it only took a couple days to recover. Do you still have your tonsils? Has anyone had an adult tonsilectomy? How was it?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Jocelyn's New Trick

We've got a rollin' baby on our hands!

She rolled over once in May, just a weird fluke. Lately she's made it to her side a lot. We went to the pediatrician yesterday because Jocelyn has been congested for a couple weeks. By the way, she's 12 pounds 9 ounces. She started rolling on the exam table. She rolled five times there. The doctor even had a hard time listening to her heart beat because she wouldn't stay on her back.

Back at home, I broke out the camera and laid her down and...she couldn't do it. Her arm would get stuck. She'd get so frustrated and just yell. I tried different surfaces to try to mimic the exam table - our leather couches, the kitchen counter, different carpets. Still nothing.

So, then it was bed time. We had Joci in her jammies and she was sleeping on her back on the floor and Justin and I were watching television. Then in her sleep, she started rolling over. She'd fall asleep mid-roll. It cracked us up. And then, she did it. In her sleep! We were laughing so hard. She did it a couple times and we finally got a video of it.

She didn't forget over night and she was rolling this morning. She didn't show off at daycare, but she was doing it again at home. She's gotten very quick at it. When I was changing her diaper this evening she rolled over three times. When I grabbed a wipe, I turned back and she was on her tummy. Then when I opened the baby powder bottle. And again when I was spreading open the clean diaper. Justin and I were just laughing so hard to see this tiny baby with a nakey bum rolling faster than I could grab a diaper.

I'm so excited for her, especially after seeing her try so hard, but I know it won't be long until she's scooting around and it's a little bittersweet. It's hard to see my girl grow up so fast. It's a good thing that each milestone is so exciting and such an achievement or else I would just bawl. How do you (or did you) deal with these milestones? Happy? Sad? Tears? Bragging?

Here she is rolling while she's half asleep.


The next morning she still remembered her new trick!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Camping, Haircut, and More

Last week I got a haircut. Lost about 6 inches. Still getting used to it. Somedays I like it. Somedays I miss my long hair.





We went camping this past weekend at my favorite campsite, Riverside Campground, just south of Island Park. I swear we got one of the few campsites that had no shade, despite being surrounded by trees. They just weren't at the right angle. We were hot during the day and freezing at night. We went to Mesa falls. We had yummy tinfoil dinner, banana boats, and a hotdog roast.



exploring the campground


At Mesa Falls


Lower Mesa Falls in the background




Upper Mesa Falls


At the Mesa Falls visitors center. Joci is sitting on a beaver pelt.




The Mesa Falls visitors center



"The Wishing Spot" from my childhood at Riverside


At the Henry's Fork of the Snake River





Among the wildflowers in our campground


Bad lighting, but Joci's in the hiking backpack

Snoozing in the trailer: Piper and Joci

Breakfast in the trailer


Around the fire



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